Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) says those involved with publicly exposing parts of President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE’s 2005 tax returns may have committed a crime.
“First of all, the release of that tax return is a felony,” Gingrich said Wednesday on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom." "They should impanel a grand jury, and they should find out who released it and that person ought to go to jail.”
Gingrich added the two pages of Trump’s 2005 returns circulating in the media show the billionaire is successful and pays his fair share in taxes.
“As a smart, rich person, he uses lawyers and accountants to minimize his tax liability, and yet he still paid 25 percent of his income, which, for a very wealthy person, is a pretty high number,” he said. "He is a remarkably successful guy who has played by the rules.”
“Second, Maddow is fake news, so the fact that she had a fake news hysteria shouldn’t surprise anyone,” Gingrich added of MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
The White House late Tuesday preemptively released some details of Trump’s income and taxes he paid in 2005 before MSNBC revealed similar information live.
Trump reported $150 million in income and paid $38 million in federal taxes, the White House said in a statement before “The Rachel Maddow Show” aired.
David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, said during the show that he received two pages of Trump’s Form 1040 unsolicited in the mail.
Johnston, who authored the recent book “The Making of Donald Trump,” also suggested the president may have been the source of the documents.
“By the way, let me point out it’s entirely possible that Donald sent this to me,” he told Maddow. "Donald Trump over the years has leaked all sorts of things.”
Citing an IRS audit, Trump was the first major nominee in decades not to release his tax returns during a presidential campaign.